Give points to Conference USA for being willing to try something unconventional.
The league used a dual-court setup for the opening rounds of its men’s and women’s conference tournament at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, playing two games simultaneously.
“We’re kind of the guinea pig. I don’t know if anyone else will try it or not,” C-USA commissioner Judy MacLeod said to the Chicago Tribune. “We’re in a position where we can try some things and take some risks and see what we can build.
“Initially, we were just touring the facility and it’s such a great facility with the plaza out front, and the hotels and restaurants. We were like, what we can do here. I think they like to be able to show the flexibility of the arena and the surrounding facilities.”
The idea of playing games at the same time at the same facility isn’t new, but turning your conference tournament over to this kind of experiment is certainly something of a bold choice. It seems better suited for a non-conference tournament than an event where an NCAA tournament bid is ultimately at stake.
Still, given the Conference USA tournament isn’t likely to generate a whole bunch of buzz on its own, trying something outside the box should be lauded – even if it ends up creating a big of a Sunday 9 a.m. AAU vibe to it.